Elastic Basket for my Peaches

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Emotionally Athletic

This weekend Sarah and I, along with many of her loved ones, participated in the Race for the Cure. They walked a 5K, while I ran it. I was impressed that I actually ran the whole way.

All these race things have lots of free stuff, though you have to get there early to maximize it. Sarah's sister-in-law, Thama snagged a mini gelly boob with a lump. I totally missed out on that one. If you are a breast cancer survivor, you get even more free stuff. Sarah counted as a survivor even though it would be a lot more accurate to say that she is surviving.

This event was much larger than the bike ride some of us participated in about a month ago. There were tons of people there. Many were wearing the pink t-shirts that signified that they were breast cancer survivors. It was cool to see so many women who had survived but it was a bit weird since they were almost all at least 20 years older than Sarah. She is now a part of a club made up mostly of much older women. It doesn't help that Sarah doesn't even look 26. I think she could easily still pass as a high school student.

At the finish line, they have the survivors separate from the rest of us and go down a special path. They hand them free stuff and cheer for them. It was hard to watch Sarah separate herself from us and walk alone down the survivor path. It seemed very symbolic of how we all want to help her and be there for her but there are certain parts she has to walk alone. Ugh.

When I was running, I ran by myself. Actually I ran with thousands of people but I didn't know any of them. When I was running, there were several times when I almost broke down and bawled. I think these cancer benefit things will be a lot easier when Sarah is healed. They seem really hard if you have lost a loved one or have one who is still not out of the woods.I am not so sure I can do another one anytime soon.

These events have signs where you can write who you are racing for. They are a great way to honor or remember someone but seeing them is a big part of what makes the experience so emotional. I wore one in honor of Sarah and one in memory of Mrs. Pilgreen. She was the mom of my friends, Lee and Erin. I didn't have the chance to get to know her well. But I know she was a really fun woman. I also know how hard her death has been on her husband and four kids. You can't help but wonder why some people die of this and some people are fine. I wish I could just do a certain number of breast cancer benefiting athletic events and Sarah would be guaranteed to be okay. Unfortunately that is not how life works.

One woman had about eight people on her signs. She had listed a sister, three aunts, three cousins and an uncle as survivors and victims. She herself was a survivor, as well. It seemed clear that her family carries the breast cancer gene. How terrible that this disease has killed and sickened so many of her relatives! Sarah recently got tested for the breast cancer gene, herself. The doctors don't think she has it since no one else in her family has had it. They want to test her because it is so unusual for her to get it this young. They are sending her blood to Utah and she should get the results in a couple of weeks. We have been joking about how the Mormons are testing her blood. I think it's because they are so into genetics. Please pray that she does not have the gene because it will mean the chances of the cancer returning are very high. It also means her kids, esp daughters would have an extremely high chance of getting breast cancer.

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